Dear friend of ANet,
I am so excited and humbled to accept the role of Achievement Network's next CEO, effective July 12th, 2021.
In 1982, my parents immigrated to the US from Nigeria. They raised four daughters while working odd jobs like cleaning Bingo halls at night and serving as a line cook in fast-food restaurants before starting their own businesses. They understood the potential of quality education in America and continually sacrificed to instill in us the values of rigor and excellence in our education. While they couldn’t always help me with my homework, they always triple-checked that it was done. While we didn’t always live in the best neighborhoods, they did everything in their power to ensure that I had access to the best schools. Together, they leveraged any and every opportunity to ensure that I saw myself as brilliant, my education as vital, and my voice worthy.
The same principles I learned from my parents are central to high-quality teaching and what I carry with me as I step into the role of CEO for Achievement Network (ANet). After nine years in this organization, I continue to feel inspired by our work to guarantee all students receive equitable instruction and live up to our commitment to ensuring students have opportunities for “voice, choice and agency” in their learning environments. I credit my life’s achievements to my parents and their fight for my access to high-quality education. We do this work to ensure that parents don’t have to fight for what should be guaranteed.
Education, like many fields, is at a time of profound transformation as we work together to dismantle the systemic racism that plagues our schools. It is an honor to serve as CEO alongside other leaders of color who are stepping into their seats at the table. I am humbled to be among such phenomenal peers.
It’s essential for us to always remember that “the table” is a flawed concept. My role may be new, but this work is just a continuation of my life commitment to giving agency and voice to the teachers, school leaders, and the students I represent.
Let’s get to work. The future for our children is already here.
Osarugue Michelle Odemwingie